With technological advancement, the healthcare industry in 2022 is also facing changes. These changes pose new challenges to big and small medical organizations.
Today, running a medical practice is not limited to patients anymore. The creation of this new environment results from technological innovations, fast-evolving government regulations, COVID-19 pandemic recovery, and patient expectations.
Challenges in Healthcare Industry
Here, we have enlisted seven significant challenges in healthcare faced by the industry and how to cope with them.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has encouraged minimal in-person human interaction. As a result, the adoption of telehealth by consumers grew from 11 per cent in 2019 to 46 per cent in 2020.
According to a survey, about 76 per cent of consumers said they are more inclined to use the telehealth service in the future.
Thus, a potential digital health bubble and an uncertain regulatory future are two significant challenges faced by the telehealth sector of the healthcare industry in 2022.
The medical insurance industry experienced a significant change in recent years. With the increasing responsibility of patients for a large portion of their healthcare bill, they now demand better service from the hospitals and clinics.
Healthcare organizations will face tough competition in attracting and retaining patients who demand an experience matching the level of service from other consumer brands.
Patients are now demanding a sleek experience to resolve most issues, questions, or concerns, such as booking an appointment, downloading immunization records, etc., anytime, anywhere.
Offering this service results in need to store information in one centralized location. Every employee of the healthcare industry will then be able to access the most up-to-date patient information.
The healthcare industry must create a patient portal to answer these challenges in healthcare industry. The portal will have the entire patient interaction and allow all healthcare professionals to access a timely updated patient’s history.
Ransomware, Data breaches, and other cybersecurity concerns are common problems faced in the medical industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability and sensitivity of patient health information.
The digitization of the healthcare industry in 2022, such as telehealth doctor visits, poses a threat and may lead to an increase in breaching patient records.
Digitization will lead to the emergence of one of the many problems faced in medical industry – Hacking.
The trend is feared to continue because many healthcare providers are slow in responding to attacks. The decentralized systems are highly vulnerable to attacks.
When the breach occurs, the medical organization not only compromises confidential patient information but also faces a hefty penalty for violating the compliance standards regulating the healthcare industry.
Medical organizations are thus investing in tools to safeguard the information and protect patients’ sensitive data. In addition, they have taken simples steps like strong firewalls and multi-factor authentication to reduce hacking.
Third-party patient engagements vendors are now required to possess the HITRUST Certification. It provides extensive safeguards from HIPPA, COBIT, HITECH, PCI etc. As a result, such vendors are comparatively less susceptible to cyberattacks or data breaches.
The Healthcare industry in 2022 has a massive pile of data, such as payers, providers and patients, scattered across multiple parties and systems. However, there is no single “Source of truth” providers can use to optimize the patient experience.
For example, when patients change insurance plans or healthcare organizations, the medical officers rely on the patient’s words to reconstruct their records. As a result, not the entire information is transferred adequately, making it challenging to harness the power of data and generate accurate insights.
The healthcare data in 2022 comes from various sources and in different formats. Unfortunately, no single system or technological infrastructure is available to retrieve, store and analyze data from other sources.
To successfully harness the power of massive data, medical organizations must adopt data-driven decision-making. Thus, it will put up the insights to support decision-making at the executive level.
Leveraging the patient’s data from all sources requires the implementation of non-relational information technology. This way, healthcare organizations can utilize data from different sources and formats.
Invoice and Payment Processing
One of the few significant challenges in healthcare is collecting patient payments. Today, patients are becoming responsible for paying for their medical bills.
For matching patient expectations and improving user experience, providers must adopt patient-friendly billing statements. For example, they can offer paperless statements and various online payment options and utilize the latest payment technologies. In addition, text or email reminders help establish effective communication with patients and encourage them to pay their bills.
However, an outstanding patient experience unveils new problems faced in medical industry. Setting up such modern invoicing and payment processing systems in-house weighs heavily on their pockets. They have to negotiate terms with every payment processor, build the infrastructure and bear the cost of maintaining these technologies.
Additionally, they must ensure compliance with the payment portal and processing system or pay a hefty penalty.
Transparency in Pricing
Lack of price transparency also contributes to challenges faced in healthcare industry. It leads to consumers’ failure in paying their invoices.
CMS implemented a new rule on January 1st 2021, for hospitals to publish the prices they negotiate with insurers for different medical procedures.
Some healthcare systems opt to make their service prices accessible, while most fail to comply. According to a study, as of July 2021, only 5.6% of hospitals have complied fully with the mandate.
Patients research the pricing before booking an appointment. Thus, those who fail to make the pricing public drop from consideration altogether.
Effectiveness of Payment Model
A trend of determining financial incentives based on patient outcomes than service quantity is picking up the heat.
Bundled payments, global payments, disbursement to patient-oriented care providers and shared savings to encourage care providers for coordinating services and promote preventive care are in demand.
However, there prevail challenges in healthcare industry in implementing these models and monitoring the existing systems’ processes. Healthcare providers need to pay close attention to early adopters and large organizations who have tested and fine-tuned the new models. It will help them understand how to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes while staying profitable.
The problems faced in medical industry are interdependent. For example, with advancing technology, the need for advanced patient experience is a must. However, it comes with a hefty price. Thus, to overcome the challenges in healthcare industry, medical organizations need to adopt digital methods at all levels.